Dairy-free nutrition tips for the 65 percent of people who are lactose intolerant
Do you love dairy, but usually regret eating it shortly after it’s gone? That sour stomach after drinking milk, munching on cheese or eating ice cream is sometimes called a dairy hangover. The culprit: lactose.
Lactose is a milk sugar. Infants have special enzymes that break down lactose. As people grow, the ability to digest milk typically decreases because they lose these enzymes. In fact, approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest milk and foods made with milk after infancy, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Symptoms of lactose intolerance
If you’ve had the following symptoms after eating dairy products, you may be lactose intolerant:
* Abdominal cramping
If you or your children have these symptoms, there are many things you can do. First, talk with your doctor or nutritionist about your health concerns. Second, consider keeping a food journal of what you eat and how it makes you feel. This can help uncover trends and important connections. Finally, research high-quality dairy-free alternatives for you and your family’s diet.
Tips for going dairy-free
Adjusting to a low-dairy or dairy-free diet might seem overwhelming. There are many dairy-free milk options on the market, but it’s important to be a conscientious shopper. Whereas most dairy-free beverages use non-food flavorings and additives like carrageenan, all plant-based Mooala products are made with real ingredients, and are USDA-certified organic, Kosher and GMO-free.
I like Mooala because every product has 10 or fewer grams of sugar per serving and it can be found in approximately 1,500 retailers throughout the U.S. Try Original Almondmilk and Vanilla Bean Almondmilk for a creamy treat that tastes surprisingly similar to milk. Nut-free and soy-free Original Bananamilk is also available to the estimated 5 million Americans who are allergic to tree nuts.
Another concern for people cutting dairy is vitamin D and calcium deficiencies. Fortunately, there are foods you can add to your diet so you get these important nutrients. Egg yolks, canned tuna and almonds are good sources of vitamin D. Spinach, kale, collards and white beans are good sources of calcium. What’s more, many common grocery store items are fortified with calcium and vitamin D as well, such as breakfast cereals and orange juice. Just look at the label for more information.
There are plentiful options to eat well and go dairy-free if you have lactose sensitivities. Have fun exploring new recipes that support your nutritional needs. One that features many of these powerful dairy-free foods is a tasty smoothie you can whip up in just minutes:
Grapefruit Bananamilk Smoothie
1 deseeded grapefruit
1 sweet apple
2 handfuls of spinach
1 frozen banana
1 handful of ice
1/2 cup Mooala’s Original Bananamilk
Dash of fresh ginger
Place ingredients in blender, then puree until you’ve reached your desired consistency.